• Synology RS18017xs+ & RS4017xs+ Whats New

    Posted by Editorial Team
    So, what is the difference then between the previous version and the newer model? if we cut away the marketing hype, then it’s not a whole lot really, just a tad increase in performance, newer motherboard and a few extra features.


  • Dell Storage SC9000 Review

    Posted by Editorial Team
    The SC9000 combines an impressive all-flash performance with a remarkable expansion potential. With the latest SCOS 7 software at the helm, it also offers a wide range of features including automated data tiering while the new deduplication can make big savings on storage.


  • SimplyNAS Adds ARECA ARC-8050T2 8 Bay Thunderbolt 2

    Posted by Abbas Mawji

    Areca ARC-8050T2 with its 6Gb/s SAS 8-bay Thunderbolt 2 box with RAID control is an ideal companion for both PC and Mac based storage requirements. Incorporated on-board dual core 800Mhz RAID-On-Chip and with 1GB DDR3-1333 memory to deliver true high performance hardware RAID protection against drive failure. This combination helps to provide a high performance storage device perfect for the video editor working with Real time multi-stream HD and 4K workflows. It runs efficiently without disruption or major drops in performance to meet the requirements of 4K data workflow. 

    SimplyNAS offers the full range from 12TB upwards to 64TB limited by the 8TB drives, 10TB drives were not certified at the time of this press.

    A comprehensive range for the 8-BAY Thunderbolt  ARC-8050T2 can be found at the following page -  https://goo.gl/Gp0pZo




  • What exactly is a NAS

    Posted by Editorial Team
    Published by: Simply Group
    Date: March 4, 2016

    NAS systems are networked appliances which contain one or more hard drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID. Network-attached storage removes the responsibility of file serving from other servers on the network. They typically provide access to files using network file sharing protocols such as NFS, SMB/CIFS, or AFP.

    Almost every small business, even home business can benefit from some form of networked-attached storage (NAS).

    The NAS spectrum covers a wide range of products, from simple boxes with a fixed amount of storage that you can plug into your network (basically glorified hard drives) all the way up to full-fledged network storage appliances with features like hot-swappable RAID arrays, flexible and secure account management, remote FTP and HTTP access, print serving and more.

    Just don't call them "servers," a term generally reserved for full computers with operating systems (typically Windows Servers) able to run programs like database and Web applications, as well as store large amounts of data. NAS drives, by contrast, have purposely limited functionality, embedded processors, and hardened "kernel" operating systems. Because of their very limitations, such as the inability to install and run most third-party applications, NAS drives can also be more secure than PC-based file servers.

    Should you buy a NAS or File Server?

    Assuming you need centralized storage, whether to choose a NAS device or a file server will hinge on several factors:

    • Your Budget. NAS devices can be more cost effective than file servers, and also don't require fully blown operating software, need monitors or keyboards since they are managed via a Web interface over your network.
    • IT Administration Resources. NAS devices require far less administration than servers. After initial configuration and setup, you generally only need to make occasional user and account updates. File servers require active administration to keep system patches, virus definitions and application software up to date, among other things, not to mention maintenance agreements that can cost almost a much as a small NAS device.
    • Application Demands. The need to run applications like groupware or e-mail and Web servers--all of which require the horsepower of a file server. NAS devices are not designed to serve applications, they are strictly data servers.
    • The Number of Users. File servers can usually be scaled up much higher than small NAS devices, which typically accommodate a maximum of about 25 simultaneous users, albeit large NAS devices can scale upwards of 50 users or more depending on which NAS is selected... Typically NAS servers help to offload the I/O overheads on file servers by removing the constant read, writes files servers have to make for data by typically holding the data centrally and allowing users to save directly to the NAS. This singular service can help to improve performance on file servers by up to 45% as the read, writes disappear and the file servers are allowed to just serve applications.Many businesses now use a mix of NAS and server hardware. This is now the best data warehouse strategy, allowing the mix to provide the optimum level and method of serving data. Today, backup is definitely the number one use of NAS by SMB’s. 
    • Performance. Until a few years ago performance was a debatable area, with file servers clearly outperforming File Servers, NAS devices have improved tremendously but the comparison is not like for like, clearly file servers will continue to reign when it comes to mission critical and real-time applications and for data storage the NAS will be aptly suitable.

    Which Features Should we be Looking for?

    So what should you look for in a NAS device? That depends on what you will be doing with it, and how secure it needs to be. Here's a rundown of features:

    Drive Type and Configuration. The essence of any NAS is storage, and the first thing to figure out is how much disk space you need. For backup, make an allowance of up to three times of your current capacity requirement. While you'll typically only back up a fraction of that space, the extra overhead will allow room to grow, as well as leave plenty of room for multiple versions of files. For central document and media libraries, again, determine how large your data set is, and allow room to grow. If you expect your needs to increase dramatically over the life of the NAS (about three to five years), consider buying more drive bays than needed for a user-replaceable capacity upgrade, so you can add to it later as required. Drive prices drop dramatically over time, so this approach will also be cost effective.

    How much capacity you'll want will depend in part on whether you want your NAS in a RAID configuration (which can require up to twice as much space)? If you have a two-drive setup, you can use RAID 1, which simply mirrors one drive onto the other in real time (and reduces total storage capacity by half, so make sure the NAS offers double your basic capacity requirements).

    For multi drive setups, we recommend RAID 5, which stripes data across a minimum of three drives (increasing performance), while at the same time allowing for complete recovery in the event of a single drive failure. Many multidrive NAS enclosures allow you to hot-swap drives: You can pop out and replace a failed drive without even turning off the NAS. For RAID 5, you'll need about 50 percent more capacity than you expect to back up (assuming a three-drive array), or about one-third more if you have a four-drive array. This translates into a less costly setup than with RAID 1.

    Stay away from RAID 0; striping data across the capacity two drives may increase your performance, but it also increases the risk to your data should one of those drives fail.

    (Note that while RAID can guard against individual drive failure, it can't protect against corruption that may spread to all drives; NAS system failure; or a catastrophe like a fire, flood, or earthquake that may destroy both your local computers and the NAS. We recommend you continue to perform regular backups onto removable media that can be taken offsite or to an online backup service.)

    Finally, you'll want to ask if the drives in your NAS will be standard or "enterprise-class." Enterprise-class drives are carry a much higher mean time between failures (MTBF) than do standard consumer drives, and as such are more reliable. You can often choose one or the other drive type. The price premium for enterprise-class hardware is small and can be well worth it for businesses. If you do have the chance to pick your drives, we recommend choosing 7200rpm or 10,000rpm enterprise-class drives, the normal protocol is either SATA or SAS. You will likely be striping the drives in an array (which can double performance) at any rate, so we suggest going for reliability, which is generally a more important factor than pure drive speed for NAS. Solid State Drives are dropping in price to the extent of being contenders, caching with a pair of SSD’s is an area that is experiencing tremendous growth as in many instances this can increase the backup performance by 25% and over. This is most certainly an option that requires careful consideration.

    Network Connections and Performance. Definitely look for gigabit Ethernet connections in any office NAS, and make sure you have gigabit routers and switches. 10Gigabit Ethernet connections are also an option explored by many buyers allowing fast speed access to data. Backups involve moving large amounts of data over the network, and can take hours and hours on slow connections (especially wireless ones). Also try to stagger user backups throughout the week, and perform them at night, so they don't affect your network operations during the business day.

    Ease of Setup and Installation. Most NAS devices have Web-based configuration utilities that let you set up user and group accounts, create drive "shares" and public folders, allow remote Web access via FTP or HTTP, format the drive, update firmware, set your Workgroup name, and so on. Some have wizards that take you through the process, making it easy for a part-time system administrator to get started. Access-rights management will be the key ongoing administrative task. Make sure that you can assign secure private shares using passwords and/or encryption, and provide read-only access to specific shares and users if needed. Most units offer a built-in print server, and even have additional USB 3.0 ports for attaching a flash drive or hard drive.

    Bundled Software. Look for models that include backup utilities with the power and flexibility to meet your needs, or the capability to work with third-party backup apps. Most NAS drives can be used with popular software like EMC Dantz's Retrospect; some models even come with multi-seat Retrospect licenses. Other embedded utilities may include defragmentation tools, formatting, and virus scanning software.

    Management & Logging Tools. The last thing a busy small business administrator needs is the hassle of frequently checking to see whether backups were performed correctly, whether users are nearing the limits of their disk space allocations, and other such maintenance tasks. The best NAS devices will alert you to issues like almost full disks or shares, failed backups, fragmented drives and attempts at unauthorized access so you can correct them before they cause problems. Good logs of disk and system activity will also help you diagnose issues.

    Security. NAS devices in general are more secure than file servers that can run third-party software (and by extension, malware). However, you probably don't want to place trade secrets on any shared storage drive, especially one that might be available on the Web. The most secure NAS devices will have strong access-rights management, with password-protected accounts, groups and shares, and division of rights by read, write and read/write access. They will also have clear instructions that help you set things up securely--most NAS security problems are created simply by bad rights setup. Grant read/write access only to share owners, and grant group access only to folders clearly labeled as such. For backup of personal drives onto a NAS, use software that allows you to encrypt the backup. That way, snoopers cannot read it even if they somehow gain access to it.

    File Protocol Support. If you have Mac or Linux machines on your network as well as PCs, a key consideration will be network file protocol support. Most NAS devices support at least Server Message Block/Common Internet File System (SMB/CIFS) and Network File System (NFS). SMB/CIFS is used most commonly on Windows systems for file sharing, while NFS is more popular on Unix systems, but both can be accessed by PC, Mac, and Linux clients. However, Mac users especially may have problems with the file conventions allowed by these non-Mac-native protocols. If you have more than a few Mac clients, look for a NAS with Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) support. Many NAS devices support AFP on Mac shares, along with SMB/CFS on PC shares.

    Remote Web Access. Not all NAS devices allow remote FTP and HTTP access, so make sure yours has this feature if you need it. Also make sure you harden the passwords and security on shares of the NAS that will not be granted remote access. You don't want your NAS to end up being a "back door" into your network.

    Warranty / Support. The warranty on both drives and NAS hardware and the ease of obtaining technical support are crucial factors for many small businesses. Basic warranties range from one to five years and some vendors offer extended on-site service at extra cost. Drives are often separately guaranteed by the drive manufacturer, irrespective of whether they're integrated into the NAS or not, so be sure to ask for warranty information on both. Avoid buying from online e-tailers who provide little or no tech support, or support that is available for only a limited time after purchase.

    SimplyNAS - www.simplynasbusiness.com

    Call our Sales Team Today - 407-960-4690 and speak with one of our NAS experts. 





  • Synology Announces RS18016xs+ RackStation

    Posted by Editorial Team
    Stepping up as Synology’s largest enterprise NAS appliance to date, the new RS18016xs+ takes storage expansion to the next level. It comes with a pair of external 6Gb/sec SAS interfaces which support up to 14 of Synology’s new RX1216sas 12-bay disk shelves.

    RS18016xs+ front view

    Combine these with the twelve bays in the main unit as you can expand up to 180 hard disks and a mind-boggling raw capacity of 1.4 Petabytes. Another bonus is the RS18016xs+ supports SAS and SATA drives while the newly implemented BTRFS brings in unlimited snapshots for enhanced data protection.

    Processing power hasn’t seen any radical improvements as the RS18016xs+ is equipped with a 3.3GHz ‘Ivy Bridge’ Xeon E3-1230 v2 CPU – the same as used in its RS10613xs+ which was launched over two years ago. As with its predecessor, it comes with 8GB of DDR3 which can boosted to 32GB, four embedded Gigabit ports and dual PCI-Express slots that support a range of industry-standard 10GbE network adapters.

    Deployment and snapshots

    DSM on the RS18016xs+

    Synology’s DSM delivers some of the best backup features in town

    Installation is no different to any other Synology appliance as we loaded the Web Assistant portal which discovered the appliance and loaded the latest DSM software for us. Moving on to the superbly designed DSM web interface, we used the Storage Manager app to create a single SHR array using four 4TB WD SAS hard disks.

    Snapshots are implemented using the new Data Protection Manager (DPM) app and can be applied to both NAS shared folders and file-level iSCSI targets (but not block-level targets). We found them easy enough to use but you must ensure the advanced data integrity protection option is enabled when creating shares.

    From the DPM interface, we chose our shared folders and iSCSI LUNs and created snapshot schedules for each one. Snapshots can be run on any weekday or all and repeated as often as every 5 minutes for near real-time protection.

    Data restoration proved to be a simple process as we recovered a network share from its latest snapshot in less than 30 seconds. You can delegate the recovery process to your users as snapshots can be made visible to them as new network shares and you can also clone a snapshot as a new share.